World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by the international diabetes federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating...Read More
Determined to investigate his hypothesis, Banting was recommended to Dr. J.J.R. Macleod at The University of Toronto, where he was hesitantly given laboratory space to conduct experimen...Read More
The “Edmonton Protocol” has been around for just over 20 years and has made a significant impact in the lives of the hundreds that have received the treatment. The Protocol involves tra...Read More
There is always room for improvement and we need to work hard in the lab and continue to make progress. Our team's goal is to drive research today to accelerate a cure for tomorrow.Read More
When Audrey was first diagnosed, Heather was a stay at home mom and Mike, Heather's husband, worked an office job for the oil patch. He did not....
Determined to investigate his hypothesis, Banting was recommended to Dr. J.J.R. Macleod at The University of Toronto, where he was hesitantly given laboratory space to conduct experiments on the pancreas using dogs. Dr. Charles Best, a medical student at the time, was assigned to assist Banting’s research. Within a few months, Banting and Best had successfully isolated a protein hormone secreted by the pancreas, which was named insulin.
With assistance from Dr. James Collip, the insulin was successfully refined and produced for clinical trials, which were immediately successful. Demonstrating his altruistic commitment to advance medicine, Banting sold the patent rights for insulin to The University of Toronto for $1, claiming that the discovery belonged to the world, not to him. This allowed insulin to be mass-produced, making it widely available to the public for the treatment of Diabetes. Although not a cure, this breakthrough would save millions of lives and, to this day, provides treatment for a disease that was previously considered a death sentence.
Following the highly publicized discovery, fame came quickly to the soft-spoken and modest Banting. He was jointly awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Dr. J.J.R. Macleod for the discovery of insulin. Amid controversy, Banting chose to share his prize with his partner, Dr. Best and Macleod chose to share his prize with Dr. Collip. The youngest recipient of a Nobel Prize in Medicine, Banting suddenly became a celebrity and was revered as a hero worldwide. In 1934, he was knighted by King George V and was among the last group of Canadians to be honoured with this esteemed title.
In response to Banting’s popularity and successful research, the Ontario Legislature awarded The University of Toronto an annual grant to establish the "Banting and Best Research Fund". With this financial support, the university hired Banting as Canada's first Research Professor and established the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research in 1930, with Banting as the chair of the department and Best as a research associate. Banting remained committed to medical research and scientific discovery and participated in research relating to silicosis, cancer and aviation medicine, among many other projects.
Banting was also an avid painter and was close friends with A.Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven, who mentored and encouraged Banting’s artistry. Banting’s pursuit of painting allowed him refuge from the pressures and fame of his early success and, today, he is regarded as one of Canada’s most important amateur artists.
Banting was also a decorated soldier and served Canada in both World Wars. During the First World War, he served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps and was awarded the Military Cross in 1919 for his “distinguished and meritorious services” during the Battle of Cambrai in 1918. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Banting again volunteered to serve Canada, coordinating the National Wartime Medical Research effort with the National Research Council of Canada, where his team researched treatments for mustard gas, anti-gravity suits and oxygen masks. He served as a liaison officer between British and North American medical services; in this capacity, he was travelling to England in February 1941, when his plane crashed in Newfoundland and his life was tragically cut short.
Banting’s legacy lives on in the numerous researchers who followed in his footsteps and who made medical breakthroughs at the research institutions bearing his name. His childhood farm in Alliston, now called The Banting Homestead Heritage Park, attracts school and community groups annually. The house in London, Ontario, where he originally conceived the idea that led to the discovery of insulin, is now Banting House National Historic Site of Canada, a museum dedicated to preserving Banting’s important legacy. Later coined the "Birthplace of Insulin," the museum has become an unofficial pilgrimage site and attracts visitors from around the world each year who wish to pay tribute to the famous co-discoverer of insulin.
~Author credit: A. Mandich - Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Banting and Best on the roof of the Medical Building with Dog #408. [University of Toronto, The Discovery and Early Development of Insulin]
World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by the international diabetes federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.Donate Now
World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by the international diabetes federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. It is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
WDD is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
The “Edmonton Protocol” has been around for just over 20 years and has made a significant impact in the lives of the hundreds that have received the treatment. The Protocol involves transplanting islet cells from a donated pancreas into the liver of the recipient and was discovered by Dr. Shapiro and his team at the University of Alberta.
“Because of islet cell research, I know what a cure might feel like! My name is Cheryl Howell and I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 14. I spent more than 30 years giving myself four to six insulin injections per day. Although I worked hard to keep things under control, my blood sugar would swing wildly up and down, making me a candidate for islet transplantation. Within five weeks of my first transplantation, I no longer needed to take insulin. The best part was being able to enjoy some freedom from diabetes. One day I walked out of my hotel room and realized I had no emergency sugar, no insulin...nothing but my ID in my pocket. Although I take drugs daily to prevent rejection of these awesome donated cells I am living the retirement of my dreams!”
The “Edmonton Protocol” has been around for just over 20 years and has made a significant impact in the lives of the hundreds that have received the treatment.Donate Now
Although the Edmonton Protocol is already using cell transplants from donated pancreatic islet cells to help type 1 diabetic patients, Dr. Shapiro and his team are confident that by using a complex culture technique pancreatic islet cells can be created using the patient’s own blood cells. This will omit the need for anti-rejection drugs and be the cure for diabetes!
In order to make this successful his team needs financial support to get the right equipment that will help perform successful clinical trials. You can make a difference by donating today.
For more information on Dr. Shapiro and his team’s work watch this video:Donate now